DAC 2017 Qualifiers: The end of the journey
Today we played against Team Secret yet again for DAC 2017. Having fought them before during the same event, we have defeated them 2-1, and therefore, we were quite comfortable coming into the matchup. The stakes were high, however, as the loser would be unable to qualify for the main event in China, while the victor will go further, to the playoffs. This time, around, unfortunately, we have lost 0-2 in the Bo3 series.
Natus Vincere G2A [0:1] Team Secret
The first game of the series had us start off on the Radiant side. The early game was somewhat rough for us, as Secret's supports were all around the map, trying to get in our way. But the First Blood as still ours, as Pajkatt found a Haste rune, and chased down Ogre Magi - despite being a tanky hero, he can only do so much against Fury Swipes. The agression was seen on our bottom lane, as the opponent would not be happy to see Ursa farming freely. The aggro-trilane has relieved some of the pressure on other lanes, but ultimately, a fight broke out in our jungle, close to bottom T1. As a result, we've lost a couple of heroes, while Secret's casualty was Ogre Magi - even though keeping Pajkatt alive would've been a lot more fortunate, the trade was still a good one.
The dust settled, as we have finished the laning stage with 2:2 kill score. 11 minutes in, Axe made a good initiation that resulted in 3-1 trade in our favor, which was quite a good fight. Following that, Team Secret decided to disengage and push the lanes, which did not quite work out yet again, as we have gathered near the bottom T2 tower and again, with a good initiation from GeneRaL and follow-up of the rest of the team, we have taken 3 heroes off of the battlefield for a bit. Having done that, Natus Vincere decided it is time for aggression, as Ursa went to kill Roshan and claim his first Aegis of the game.
We went on to pick off Secret's heroes one by one - Ogre, Puck fell to us. A bit later we tried to take the mid T1 tower, but the response from Secret was too much for us to handle and having sacrificed GeneRaL and lost the Aegis on Ursa, we backed off. The next few minutes were relatively quiet, as we tried to farm up some more, while Secret was trying to push the lanes in. 25 minutes in, we have had a fight on the top lane which tied our kill score - 11 to 11.
A while later, Pajkatt went on to push the top lane, but died to the TP rotation of the opponent. This allowed Team Secret to go for a Roshan and secure the Aegis for MidOne's Medusa. With that in their pocket, Team Secret went for a high-ground siege - we have lost the top lane and part of the mid lane, but in return, we have gotten a teamwipe and the Aegis used up - a great trade to boost our net worth and damage the enemy's economy; a little while later, we have traded 3-3 again, with a buyback on Slardar, to make our situation even better. 35 minutes in the score was 19:22, Na`Vi slightly behind in kills.
A little after that, Ursa has claimed the third Roshan of the game, which also had Cheese, so that we would be able to play more aggressively and do as much as we can. However, we were forced to defend our base from the enemy, and despite our best efforts, their damage output was just too great to sustain. We had to type GG, giving the first game of the series to Team Secret.
Game 1 end-game statistics
Natus Vincere G2A [0:2] Team Secret
The second game of the series had us on the Radiant yet again. First Blood was a long chase after Puppey's Bounty Hunter, but it still worked out well, giving GeneRaL some more gold to work with. Also, this game we have witnessed a little switch in the lanes - Sand King, played by GeneRaL, went for the safe lane together with Leshrac, while Pajkatt went for the offlane Faceless Void.
The early game saw us being on the aggressive, with the first tower being taken from Secret only 6 minutes in. Fights were happening all over the map, but not a lot of casualties followed, as both teams were playing carefully, trying to safeguard their cores. Pajkatt and GeneRaL, though, were not willing to resort to passive farm, and instead, were utilizing the full arsenal to make sure Secret is not overly comfortable. 10 minutes in, the score was 7:6, us being 1 kill ahead
The pace of the game has clamed down a lot. There was a lot of movement all over the map, but not too many kills, as Secret's Bounty Hunter and Weaver were roaming the map, but no real follow-up was present; while Natus Vincere was mainly relying on big ultimates, primarily Chronosphere, which is available only so often. While there was no any initiation skill, we preferred to retreat and farm some more key items to start dealing significant damage.
18 minutes in we have killed Roshan, giving the Aegis to Pajkatt. Having obtained that, we went on to more aggressive movements around the map, but this did not yield a lot, as Centaur Warrunner's Stampede proved to be quite a useful tool for both engaging and disengaging. Pajkatt got caught wandering alone, and died twice. Secret had slowy started the way back into the game, as their kill score was already higher than ours, and both experience and net worth graphs plunged downwards.
We have then retreated to our own side of the map, trying to get some more items coming our way to cathc up to Secret's damage output. However, it was a bit troublesome, as we kept getting picked off alone, which did not really help us. We found an opportunity to get back onto our feet, as Faceless Void found a great initiation, covering enemy team with Chronosphere and Dendi's Reverse Polarity to back it up - and we got 4 out of 5 enemy heroes, only because Bounty Hunter was not with his team. Having one that, we have immediately gone into the Rosh pit to acelerate our momentum even more, and yet again gave the Aegis to Pajkatt. It was put to a use immediately, just as he was initiated upon by the enemy team.
Having risen back, Faceless Void has immediately Chrono'ed the enemy, with the follow-up from the rest of us securing yet another 4-man wipe. Slowly but surely, we have clawed our way back into the game, recovering from an unfavorable situation earlier. Now we had a better damage output and heaps more of control, so the teamfights were a good option for us, while single-target gank remained the specialty of Secret.
The situation was becoming increasingly tense, as both teams were ready to engage, but couldn't quite get an opening for themselves. The next Roshan, as per usual, went to the core of our team - Pajkatt. The situations were becoming way more clutch, as teams knew that getting a ill on a core could probably mean a lane, if not more. Both Na`Vi and Team Secret resorted to farming yet again, in order to get as much coming into the late game as possible. The opponent, though, was a tad more aggressive, sieging our highground for a bit. The action then shifted toards the bottom lane, where we took a fight that turned out not as good for us, since we lost 4 heroes, but luckily, Sand King had his buyback ready.
Following the teamfight we have lost 2 lanes of racks, which has, undoubtedly, disrupted our progress, but did not kick us out of the game completely. We have still had our top lane T3 standing strong, and the teamfight potential was omnipresent and ever-threatening. We have smoked in Radiant jungle, walking towards the river, when a fight has unexpectedly broken out when we spotted Weaver. The duration of Chronosphere was not enough to finish the enemy off, and after it, all broke loose. The seocnd fight, that happened around a minute later, cost us 4 heroes, with no buyback on anyone. With no perspective of coming back into the game, we had to type GG, giving the series 0-2 to Team Secret.
Game 2 end-game statistic